Diving soon - The Clerc Hydroscaph GMT Power-Reserve Chronometer
Clerc is the only brand in the world, that solely manufactures luxury diver's watches in limited numbers. If you consider the marketing approach of the majority of watch brands, either big manufacturers or smaller artisan workshops, you will easily realize that this slogan makes complete sense: what is usually part of a broader portfolio for brands like Omega, Breitling or even Rolex is actually Clerc's unique option.
Starting off from a single case architecture the brand has developed its whole collection. The main concept behind Clerc's product is the will to offer an exclusive diver's watch produced in limited numbers (keep in mind that the Geneva based brand is a small workshop founded in 1874), that is both a professional diver's item and a multi-purpose luxury sports watch at the same time. The case is a stainless steel monolythe, that has evolved over time to eventually become that of the Clerc Hydroscaph GMT Power-Reserve Chronometer.
Originally the case was in the shape of the brand's double C logo, a style that has slowly evolved and has been refined and improved over the years to eventually become today's massive 43,8-mm-wide-case (48 millimiters if we actually include the protections.) It is quite a thick case featuring a complex engineering structure along with some interesting technical features: the bezel has preserved its original octagonal-like design but is now chamfered at the four cardinal points, so that it is easy to grab while you are in the water and you are wearing your diving gloves. On the left hand side of the case lies a small double lever in the shape of Clerc's logo, one part of it is fixed, while the other one, that is rotated by 90°, allows you to turn the bazel and lock it in the desired position, so that it won't move while you are diving (the same result can be achieved by moving the bezel alone.)
The Clerc Hydroscaph GMT Power-Reserve Chronometer brings the brand's vision one step forward by introducing the frequent flyers' preferred complication (after the worldtime complication of course): a second timezone setting. The GMT small counter is made of mother-of-pearl and the GMT hand may be easily adjusted by pushing a button placed at 4 o'clock. It is a COSC certified chronometer, it is water resistant up to 800 metres and it is equipped with caliber 610 running at 4Hz with 42 hours of Power Reserve, most likely an upgrade of a Soprod (or a Sellita) movement but I can't confirm it just yet. The helium escape valve, suited for saturation diving, is automatic.
The “integrated design” concept is the strength of this watch, that has a top overall quality and a sturdy design. All its components are firmly integrated and assembled leaving no gap between them. The lugs are adjustable to fit your wrist perfectly well and they don't present any esthetical flaws, where they meet the back-case: one of those areas, that clearly tells you whether you are dealing with a hand made watch or not. All in all a very nice work and a comfortable one too (apologies for the striped cuff, that is possibly a bit out of context here.)
If you're into dive watches, if you want to stand out from the crowd and if you are picky when it comes to quality, this timepiece is the ideal choice for you. Among its weaknesses are the lack of an in-house movement (a feature that this watch would actually deserve if you consider its retail price - a bit below the 9000€ threshold-) and the lack of an ISO 6425 certification for saturation diving, something that some of its more famous competitors already boast (i.e. the Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver watch.)
(Photo credit: Google; Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter